The Los Angeles Rams (6-4) play host to the Baltimore Ravens (8-2) in a Monday Night Football contest to conclude Week 12 of the 2019 season. This may be the Rams’ toughest test of the year, and it comes at a time when the Rams can ill afford to lose.
The primary storyline this week is going to be the Rams’ ability to slow down MVP hopeful Lamar Jackson and the high-powered Ravens’ offense. Two time defensive player Aaron Donald and company will certainly have their hands full.
The Ravens also boast one of the league’s better pass defenses, so this may be an opportunity, as it was last week, for Sean McVay to get Todd Gurley and the run game going again.
Following Monday night’s game, there are still five weeks to play in the regular season but, as aforementioned, losing obviously hurts the Rams’ chances of making a third straight postseason. Can the Rams put it all together in prime time and halt a Super Bowl hopeful at home?
The Turf Show Times’ staff make their predictions...
If the Rams play Gurley a lot, they win. If they don’t play Gurley a lot, they lose. It should be apparent to anyone that this is a quid pro quo and a quid pro quo, which the Rams and Gurley are engaged in, even if Gurley doesn’t know its a quid pro quo or the Rams deny they this is a quid pro quo.
This kind of quid pro quo is a high crime and misdemeanor equivalent to bribery so we buy tickets. Rams fans should be outraged. We have the McVay press conference transcripts proving this. You can’t quid pro quo in the NFL.
As a result McVay should be impeached for quid pro quo-ing even if he plays Gurley a lot. But on the other hand it can’t be a quid pro quo if Gurley doesn’t play a lot; if it it’s load management, which isn’t quid pro quo.
I think I understand what’s going on now. No wonder the Rams are losing and I’m glad we’re having all these congressional hearings, cause it’s about time we understood why the Rams offense are playing like shit. Makes perfect sense to me.
Prediction: Rams win, 28-22
Eddie Perez (@iAmEddieP_)
My heart says Rams. My gut doesn’t know. My brain? Pshhhh. Imma just go and hope Donald massacres Lamar Jackson & Goff catches Marcus “juiceman” Peters napping. Rams pull off the W.
Prediction: Rams win, 23-17
Skye Sverdlin (@skyeattolah)
My initial inclination was to pick the Ravens, who are clearly playing high-octane offense lately. Something changed my mind though — the Ravens are 20th in yards allowed per carry, and the Rams are 2nd in that category. The ground game has fueled the Ravens this year and the Rams should look to run like they did against the Bears. At home I’m taking the Rams to stay alive.
Prediction: Rams win, 24-23
Kristian Ramirez (@WildDragonKB)
I’m going to just say it, Jared Goff is still mediocre. Yes, we got some touchdowns last week. Yes, we won. But he still made plenty of bad decisions. You can’t blame the O-Line, they had their best game of the season. Jared just isn’t doing it this season. So will the defense be able to carry the offense against an extremely mobile quarterback? They’ll sure try, but I don’t think it’ll be enough, and Jared it’s going to Jared his way into a loss.
Prediction: Ravens win, 21-13
The hottest team in the NFL rolls into the Coliseum on Monday night, led by presumptive MVP favorite QB Lamar Jackson. After a dismal performance at Pittsburgh, the Rams reinvented themselves against the Bears, and while the result was anything but pretty, it does leave some room for optimism.
Is Bobby Evans the truth? Is the newly installed power running blocking scheme a mask for less talented players, or just smart use of personnel? Will McVay ride his rejuvenated workhorse in Todd Gurley again? At the very least, we have some answers that don’t end in “5-step drop, Goff gets crushed and fumbles.” Speaking of #16, while most are down on him, I saw a spark in the Chicago game that I’m hopeful he can build from — two perfect deep balls (arguably his best all year), and a game-winning drive where he looked sharp, albeit with protection more reminiscent of 2018 than any he’s seen this season.
All of this said, sadly I just don’t think there’s any way this Rams team can beat Baltimore, unless they’re tripped up by the bright lights of prime time, a trip West, or fall prey to “trap game” pitfalls. Jackson will be just too much to handle, and we’ll ultimately wind up asking Goff to win one outright, which given his season to date, is fool’s gold.
Prediction: Ravens win, 27-20
Elijah Kim (@Big_EZK)
The Rams are again in the national spotlight but this time on Monday. The Ravens are the hottest team in the NFL, further evident with their dominating performance over the Texans.Los Angeles will have their hands full with MVP favorite Lamar Jackson on offense and a familiar face in Marcus Peters on defense. The Rams defense will be especially challenged but I fully expect Grandpa Wade to come up with unique packages relying on Taylor Rapp, Marqui Christian, and/or Cory Littleton to help defend the dynamic Jackson.Ultimately, the Rams offense can’t keep up with the Ravens. Baltimore prevails in a fun one.
Prediction: Ravens win, 35-28
Joey Aucoin (@LARamsRamsRams)
Lamar who? That’s right, the Rams will be play in their own house with their own superstar QB, Jared Goff. Look for a big game from WR Josh Reynolds as they finally get the deep ball game going, beating the Ravens in a close one
Prediction: Rams win, 35-33
Sean Wilkinson (@Papa_Lurch)
The Ravens are on fire and the Rams are puttering through the middle of the season. Sean McVay has a chance to make a huge statement with an upset, but I just don’t think that the Rams have enough going their way on offense to keep up with Lamar Jackson and company.
Prediction: Ravens win, 27-17
Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP)
The Ravens are probably the hottest team in football right now. Not only are they currently the best offense, but their defense has turned the tide since acquiring CB Marcus Peters. And ironically, he could be the key to helping or hurting the Rams’ offense. The Rams and QB Jared Goff have a ton of familiarity with their former teammate, which could lead to taking some shots at #22. The Rams’ defense is playing great football, but MVP hopeful QB Lamar Jackson is a completely different animal.
Prediction: Ravens win, 24-20
Over the last five games, the Rams defense has given up an average of 11.4 points a game. None of those teams happen to have anyone playing at the level Lamar Jackson is, and that’s the rub. Cory Littleton has had a very good year, but the in order to win this week, the Rams will need him to have the game of his life.
Prediction: Ravens win, 34-17
Prediction: Ravens win, 30-19
Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_)
The Chicago jinx worked last Sunday (!), so I’ll just go ahead and use that strategy again this week. The Ravens are averaging 39 points per game over their last four matchups. They flew into Seattle and punched the Seahawks in the mouth. Almost put up 40 on the Patriots. And then throttled the Bengals and Texans, scoring 100 points in those two games.
The Rams’ defense is very good. But I just don’t know that it’s enough this week, so I’ll have to take the Ravens. [jinxed]
Prediction: Ravens win, 27-20
Staff pick summary: 4 picks for the Rams, 8 picks for the Ravens.